Sioux City School Board Votes to Close Whittier

The Sioux City school board has voted tonight to close Whittier Elementary school.

Whittier opened its doors in 1902, and will close them in the spring of 2015.

The board gave preliminary approval to closing Whittier at two earlier meetings.

Tonight's vote means 200 students will move to the new Washington elementary school when it opens in 2015.

20 others will go to Spalding Park, and 200 more students who live outside Whittier's boundaries will have to go to their neighborhood school or request a transfer within the district.

Board President Mike Krysl said the decision was taken with careful consideration, but some big factors were at hand.

"I think just for a moment let's set aside this notion that we're going to make it about financial savings. Let's talk a little bit about what's in the best interest of our students. I do think that 21st century facilities support 21st century education," Krysl said.

One parent we spoke with says he knew it was coming, but the decision was rushed and there should have been more opportunities for discussion.

"It wasn't a surprise, um, times change and we just got to adopt and adjust, and you know, the kids will get use to it but it's just hard to see," said Tito Parker.

Paul Speidel was the only school board member to vote against closing Whittier.

He's a Whittier parent.